On 31 December 2016, Ban Ki-moon's final term as UN Secretary-General comes to an end. As well as a thank you letter from UNA-UK's Executive Director, UNA-UK encouraged members of its movement to express their gratitude on social media.
UNA-UK's Executive Director thanked Mr Ban for his outstanding achievements in the areas of sustainable development and climate change; and for the passion, warmth and deep commitment that he brought to the office of Secretary-General over the past decade.
She also applauded Mr Ban's achievements on civil society, commending him for his commitment to providing more opportunities, particularly for young people, to engage meaningfully with the United Nations, citing his appointment of the first-ever Envoy on Youth, and the role of NGOs in the formulation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
UNA-UK was pleased to host Mr Ban on two occasions. During his speech at London's Central Hall Westminster, Mr Ban reflected on the UN's role in his own life, saying that "I myself was once a displaced person…. When I was six years old the Korean War broke out and I had to flee my home with my parents without knowing where to go. Life was miserable, terrible...We survived on food and medicine provided by the United Nations. Without the United Nations, I would not be able to stand before you today."
In her letter, UNA-UK's Executive Director thanked Mr Ban for this message of hope. She said that Mr Ban’s personal story shows that when the UN works, it can achieve great things and that this conviction has shone through during his two terms in office.
To read the letter in full, click here.
UNA-UK's movement also #ThankBan
Alongside a direct letter to the Secretary-General, UNA-UK also encouraged its movement of almost 20,000 members and supporters to tweet their appreciation for Mr Ban's contribution with the hashtag, #ThankBan.
People reflected on different aspects of Mr Ban's time as Secretary-General. @DawoodMazari tweeted "I appreciate the timings of your help & services to the world. You helped right when the world needed it most. #ThankBan #10yr @UNAUK @UN" while @Kit4Welchman said "I #ThankBan for his steady focus on a global agreement on climate change and for his sincere dedication to humanity".
Photo: Copyright UNA-UK. UNA-UK's Executive Director, Natalie Samarasinghe, meets the UN's Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon before he spoke at UNA-UK's event in London's Central Hall Westminster in January 2016.